Every local search engine optimization (SEO) strategy needs a good content marketing strategy that feeds into it.
By creating high-quality, local SEO-friendly content, you signal to Google and other search engines that your business site is relevant to local searches, increasing your chances of appearing at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).
But crafting compelling, locally relevant content that appeals to both potential customers and search engines can be tricky, especially since the types of keywords people use in local searches are more specific.
In this guide, we'll explore how to create local SEO-friendly content that not only attracts your target audience, but also enhances your website's visibility in local searches.
Using the Right Keywords in Local SEO-Friendly Content
A strong local content marketing strategy starts with keyword selection. The keywords you choose will help guide what type of content you create and improve your site's authority with Google and other search engines.
The better your content is, the more likely it is to get shared and linked back to as well, which can also contribute to your domain authority and improve your website's local rankings.
Here's how to select keywords for local SEO-friendly content:
- Conduct Comprehensive Local SEO Keyword Research
- Focus on Locally Relevant Keywords
- Experiment with Different Geo-Tagged Keywords
- Use a Mix of Long-Tail and Short-Tail Keywords
- Choose Some Conversational/Question-Based Keywords
1. Conduct Comprehensive Local SEO Keyword Research
The foundation of any successful local SEO content strategy is laid through keyword research. Use a keyword research tool to identify the key terms and phrases that potential customers are likely to use when searching for products or services in your area.
2. Focus on Locally Relevant Keywords
When doing keyword research and compiling a list of keywords to incorporate in your content, focus on region-specific keywords to cater directly to your local target audience.
These types of keywords should include the name of your city, town, or neighborhood, as well as any other locally relevant phrases or terms that people might use to search for nearby products and services.
For example, if you run a bakery in New York, use phrases like "best cupcakes in NYC" to capture local attention.
3. Experiment with Different Geo-Tagged Keywords
Diversify your local SEO keyword strategy by incorporating variations of place names, including abbreviations and nicknames.
For instance, if your business serves customers in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, experiment with keywords like "LA," "SoCal," and even super specific neighborhood nicknames to broaden your local reach.
4. Use a Mix of Long-Tail and Short-Tail Keywords
Combine both long-tail and short-tail keywords to cater to different search preferences, as well as ensure you're not only trying to rank for the most competitive keywords.
Short-tail keywords provide a broad reach, but tend to be more competitive, while long-tail keywords, being more specific, tend to be less competitive and can attract users who are closer to making a purchase decision.
For instance, if you're doing content marketing for a furniture store in Seattle, pair "affordable furniture" with "affordable modern furniture store in Seattle."
5. Choose Some Conversational/Question-Based Keywords
Voice search is on the rise, especially in local search, and users tend to use more conversational language when speaking into their devices.
So, optimize your content for voice search by incorporating question-based keywords that users are likely to ask. For example, "Where can I find the best Italian restaurant near me?" or "Which florist delivers same-day flowers in Eerie?"
How To Include Local Keywords On Your Site
Once you have a solid list of keywords to focus on for your local SEO content marketing strategy, the next step is to start incorporating them throughout your site. The key here is to try and do so naturally — trying to stuff keywords in willy-nilly wherever they fit isn't going to get you anywhere with search engines, not to mention it's not helpful for your site's visitors.
Start by looking for opportunities to include locally relevant keywords in your site's existing content. Product and service pages can provide great opportunities for doing this.
For example, let's say you're doing local content marketing for a plumber in Phoenix. You could easily add geo-tagged keywords like "clogged drain repair in Phoenix" and "Phoenix drain cleaning" to a service page about drain and sewer cleaning services.
After you've naturally incorporated as many keywords as you can into existing content, you can start creating new content based around more local keywords. For instance, you might create additional product and service landing pages based around certain keywords.
For multi-location businesses, you should create a dedicated landing page for each business location, so you can include the local keywords that are only relevant to that location there.
A blog is another excellent place to start creating local SEO-friendly content. Aim to write informative, engaging audiences that your audience will find useful, and incorporate locally relevant keywords throughout them to show their relevance to search engines.
A third way to add local-SEO friendly content to a website is through customer testimonials. Satisfied customers often leave reviews that may include locally-relevant keywords, which you can showcase on your website.
Other Tips for Local SEO Success
Optimize Your Google Business Profile Listing
The top local business search results on Google are always Google Business Profile (GBP) listings pulled from Google Maps.
So, if you want any chance of appearing at the top of Google, you must take ownership of your Google Business Profile and keep it up to date with accurate business information, including your address, phone number, business hours, and customer reviews.
Google values consistent and up-to-date information on GBP, which can positively impact your local search ranking.
Encourage Customer Reviews
Positive customer reviews can significantly impact your local SEO. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on your Google Business Profile and other relevant review platforms. Responding to reviews, whether positive or negative, demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction and can provide even more of a local SEO boost.
Monitor Local Competitors
Use a local rank tracker like Local Falcon to keep an Falcon's-eye view on what your local competitors are doing.
Analyze their content, keywords, and overall SEO strategy. This can provide valuable insights and help you identify opportunities to differentiate and improve your own local SEO efforts.
Optimize Your Apple Business Connect Listing
Apple Business Connect is Apple's version of Google Business Profile. It functions in a very similar fashion, but for Apple Maps.
While Apple Maps doesn't have nearly as much local search traffic as Google Maps, it's quickly gaining in popularity among iOS users, so there's no time like the present to claim and optimize your Apple Business Connect listing.
As Apple Maps gains more traction in local search, there's no doubt that tracking and monitoring your local ranking on Apple Maps will become a more important piece of the local SEO puzzle.
Creating local SEO-friendly content for your website involves a strategic blend of careful keyword research and selection, understanding the target audience and user intent, and creatively incorporating keywords into different types of content throughout your site.
By implementing the tips we went over above, you can increase your website's visibility in local search results, attract a targeted audience, and ultimately drive more customers to your business.
And remember — a strong content marketing strategy is a huge part of succeeding in local SEO, but you mustn't overlook other key components of a comprehensive local search engine optimization strategy, such as Google Business Profile optimization and local rank tracking.